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Engineering/ Structural Question

 
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
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Engineering/ Structural Question


I ran across something today that I have not seen: in a basement of a house in the north west. I am scoping out a simple job in the basement but noticed something I have not seen and am not certain how to proceed.
This is a 2 story house with load bearing wall on the main level spanning the width of the house and this is the only support for this half of the home- normal so far. Under that load bearing wall in the basement is an offset beam, offset by 2 feet. So my question is, is this structurally sound practice? Not being smart here, really have not seen this and before I proceed I would like to ensure this is acceptable. Now the house is 18 years old and shows little signs of an associated problem, but I would hate to cover this up without verifying its integrity first.
Also, why do tin bashers cut through the damn bottom plates in every space available on a load bearing wall? As is the case with this same LB wall on the main level.

Thanks for any insight you may have.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: Engineering/ Structural Question


You're going to need an engineer to look at that.

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Old 12-02-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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Re: Engineering/ Structural Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Whodat? View Post
I ran across something today that I have not seen: in a basement of a house in the north west. I am scoping out a simple job in the basement but noticed something I have not seen and am not certain how to proceed.
This is a 2 story house with load bearing wall on the main level spanning the width of the house and this is the only support for this half of the home- normal so far. Under that load bearing wall in the basement is an offset beam, offset by 2 feet. So my question is, is this structurally sound practice? Not being smart here, really have not seen this and before I proceed I would like to ensure this is acceptable. Now the house is 18 years old and shows little signs of an associated problem, but I would hate to cover this up without verifying its integrity first.
Also, why do tin bashers cut through the damn bottom plates in every space available on a load bearing wall? As is the case with this same LB wall on the main level.

Thanks for any insight you may have.
no it's not structurally sound. 9 out of 10 times the joists aren't sized to support the load so you end up with a hump on the girder and a low spot by the wall.
you can offset only by the depth of the joist. so on a 2x10 floor, you can offset 9.5 inches, center to center.
then watch for point loads such as openings in the wall.

tin men use the wall for supplies because it's in the middle of the house thus they can hit both sides of the wall and take care of both rooms. it's not a bad idea to make the wall a double-wide and not cut the actual bearing partition.

as far as what to do about it, framerman summed it up.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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Re: Engineering/ Structural Question


Thanks! I was just going to add that as I dug up the old books and looked it up. I was just looking to see if this was common practice in these parts as I am not from the east- and old school!

I fully concur on a thicker wall for the ducts- again though I feel I have to redo all this as well. The weight from the upper portions of the house is limited in distribution as the top and bottom plates are cut out (I mean totally cut-not just a portion). Just curious if this is a common problem these days- is there a trend going on that takes away pride in workmanship?

I am consulting an engineer but its going to be an expensive fix. Anyone have any thoughts on the county's responsibility for passing such and inspection in the first place??? No not looking to be a pain, rather this seems to be a serious error and could cause a premature collapse in the event of a basement fire or something.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: Engineering/ Structural Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Whodat? View Post
Thanks! I was just going to add that as I dug up the old books and looked it up. I was just looking to see if this was common practice in these parts as I am not from the east- and old school!

I fully concur on a thicker wall for the ducts- again though I feel I have to redo all this as well. The weight from the upper portions of the house is limited in distribution as the top and bottom plates are cut out (I mean totally cut-not just a portion). Just curious if this is a common problem these days- is there a trend going on that takes away pride in workmanship?

I am consulting an engineer but its going to be an expensive fix. Anyone have any thoughts on the county's responsibility for passing such and inspection in the first place??? No not looking to be a pain, rather this seems to be a serious error and could cause a premature collapse in the event of a basement fire or something.
The County will not be held liable for not catching this.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Engineering/ Structural Question


not to say that many houses are framed like that, but i've seen some. as far as finger-pointing.. well, ultimately it's the architect/engineer who is responsible.. but they are beyond reproach, so blame the framer
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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Re: Engineering/ Structural Question


Which way are the joists going? Parallel to the load or perpendicular to it? If it is parallel then I would think you would have seen a hump in the floor by now. If the load is perpendicular then I bet the house will be fine as long as you live. But I agree it would probably not pass as structurally sound. If you had an engineer look at it and asked him to sign it off, he would probably say no, but I'm not sure.

Where exactly are you located? I have done remodels in Washington, even in Seattle where the building department is usually more strict, and had situations where part of the building is not up to code structurally, but the building department o.k's it anyway, as long as we're not touching what was originally done, they say fine.

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